Fitness & Food

There has been a growing move towards exercise, nutrition and mental health, but who in Ireland is actually focusing on their fitness and food.

Apps such as Couch-to-5K, programmes such as Operation Transformation and the increase in Irish people putting on their running shoes, has driven a growing interest in healthy lifestyles.

Our analysis has discovered different types of health management and the importance for brands to understand different groups are motivated in different ways.

Four Health Types

In March 2015, we spoke with 1,000 Irish people about their health habits - how much they exercised and how they managed their diet. Through our segmentation analysis, we were able to create four groups each with between 430,000 and 1.23 million people.

Over 1 million people have a balanced lifestyle - monitoring their exercise and managing their diet - Fitness & Foodies. 430,000 Irish people don't worry too much about diet, but monitor their exercise - Exercise Enthusiasts - while 1.23 million people manage their diet but not their exercise - Diet, Don't Do. Lastly, over half a million Irish people are not concerned with either their exercise or diet - we refer to this group as Resters.


“I monitor my exercise, but don't think about my diet”

Men are more likely to be

Exercise Enthusiasts

430,000 Irish people are monitoring their exercise, and it tends to be men under 45 living in Dublin.


Motivated Married Men

Exercise Enthusiasts are more likely to be married (55% of group vs. 50%) and men are 22% more likely to be Exercise Enthusiasts compared to women.

79% of the group feel healthy or very healthy and 54% focus on their mental health as much as their physical health. 

There is a keen interest in staying active, but this group is currently not monitoring their diet.

Key Takeout:
Can you encourage this group to monitor their diet like they do their exercise?


I pay attention to my diet but don't think too much about exercise.

Rural women are more likely to

Diet, Don't Do

1.23 million Irish people pay attention to their diet, but not their fitness or exercise.
This group is more likely to be living in Connaught and Ulster towns.


Middle-aged Women

Women living outside of Dublin are more likely to be more concerned about their diet than their exercise, which maybe as a result of their rural town environment (e.g. transport)

82% of the group claim to feel healthy or very healthy and 68% of this group focus on their mental health.

This group is more interested in managing their diet than having a holistic healthy lifestyle.

Key Takeout:
Can you create ways in which this group can consider exercising more?


I do not pay much attention to what I eat or my exercise.

Resters - single men over 45

568,000 Irish people are not concerned with their diet or fitness.

This group is more likely to live in Munster and less likely to be ABC1.


No interest in health

Munster men are less engaged than any other group. 50% of this group are aged over 45 years old and 36% are not in a relationship.

66% of the group claim to feel healthy or very healthy but this is the lowest percentage across all groups.

This group lives in urban and rural areas and may need outlets for more healthy lifestyles.

Key Takeout:
There maybe a lack of social influences on this group which don't encourage fitness.


I actively monitor my exercise and what I eat in order to manage my weight.

The balanced mindset

Fitness Foodie

1.2 million Irish people manage their diet and monitor their exercise.

No great difference in age or whether they have children or not.

A balanced lifestyle

Irish women have figured out how to balance their exercise with their diet and this is across every age group. This group is more likely to live in a city and have an AB social class.

Most interestingly, 87% of this group believe they are healthy - the highest number among all the groups.

This group is also the most attentive to their mental health with 74% focusing on it.

Key Takeout:
A balanced approach to healthy living has a perceived benefit across many areas.

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In summary, there is a strong relationship between people who focus on their fitness and their diet, and their mental and physical well being. This is not necessarily new news, but we now have a breakdown of Irish groups and their relationship with food and fitness.

If you would like to discover more about our findings and how we could help you plot your brand offering on our food and fitness map, please get in touch.